COVID-19 vaccine passports officially in effect in Quebec

Quebecers will now have to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to gain access to certain non-essential services, including bars, restaurants and some sports.

"We'll watch how it goes and we will adjust as we go," said Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé, adding further details will be revealed later in the week.

Starting Wednesday, merchants will be required to ask anyone coming into their establishment to not only show proof of vaccination, but also a matching piece of photo ID.

This will allow businesses to confirm that the people entering their space are "adequately protected" against the virus.

Certain groups will be exempted from the rule, including those who participated in the Medicago vaccine trial and those "with contraindications to vaccination against COVID-19."

Anyone who cannot be vaccinated against the virus will have to get a note from their doctor and bring it to a vaccination centre to then be able to register for their passport on Clic Santé.

"People from other provinces or countries will be able to present official proof of vaccination issued by the province or country of residence, as well as proof of identity with an address outside Quebec, to gain access to the places and activities covered by the rollout of the vaccine passport," the ministry adds.

Dubé states, for now, there is no plan to deploy vaccine passport inspectors, but anyone who does not comply with the health measure will be fined.

Quebec's vaccine passport rollout hasn't been without a few hiccups.

The VaxiCode app became available to iOS users last Wednesday, but Android users had to wait several more days before being able to access the app on Google Play.

In addition, many seniors and those who do not have smartphones had to print paper copies of their passports.

“[Some seniors] don’t all have a smartphone; they have flip phones. They’re not connected to the internet and they don’t know what to do,” said Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein.

The province implemented mandatory vaccine passports as a response to the recent increase in cases due to the highly contagious Delta variant.

To see the complete list of activities covered by Quebec's vaccine passport, click here (in French).

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